Starbucks in Shanghai no longer offers milk!

Starbucks has quietly rang in a new policy for the Chinese new year: no milk is offered to customers at the service counter. You can still add sugar, but if you want milk (either fresh milk or UHT milk in those little containers), you will need to ask for it like a common pauper. And it will be added to your cup by a barista, not you!

This from a company that has been called out for charging more in China than anywhere else for coffee.  Just last month, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he was “bullish” on China.  Newsflash, Mr. Schultz: coffee drinkers want cow’s milk, not bull’s shit.  Yes, I’m seeing red and huffing like an angry bull, bad puns and all.

Does anyone know if this is a country-wide change or just in the Shanghai region?

Japanese girls want to marry Chinese

If you are one of the 1500 lucky ladies mentioned in the story, TFF would love to hear from you….

Nowadays, there is a popular saying among Japanese girls that goes “What we want is Chinese food and men, not French lovers or American houses.” This means Japanese girls have lost their interest in French and American men. In Japan, men from China are becoming more popular with Japanese girls….

Continue reading “Japanese girls want to marry Chinese”

Give Shila Dixon the Chen Liangyu treatment

You don’t actuallyneed to read this.  The issue is that the mayor of Baltimore used gift cards not intended for her to make purchases for herself, family and cronies.

Think about it.  The sitting mayor of Baltimore is on trial for petty theft.

Meanwhile, while American city mayors are bogging their cities down by committing criminal activities, Shanghai is emerging as world economic center.  Well, I suppose Shanghai did have its Chen Liangyu.

Here’s hoping Dixon meets the same fate.

Shut up and watch the movie

Jian Guo Da Ye (建国大业), a movie on the founding of the People’s Republic of China, is set to come out on September 18th, in advance of the October 1st 60th anniversary of the PRC.   Actress Xu Qing 许晴 plays Song Qingling (i.e. Madame Sun Yat Sen).

2009AugustJianGuoDaYe

The Chinese blogosphere is flipping out, because Xu Qing – Chinese by blood – at some point took on Japanese nationality.  Continue reading “Shut up and watch the movie”

Best Buy Fury

No not from me. I was just there to buy a step down transformer, in hopes that the Bose Companion 5 computer speakers that I just brought back from the States (110v) will work in Shanghai. While waiting for the staff girl to box the transformer, some Chinese guy was throwing a fit at the counter. He was in a total fury – he yelled 15 times at the salesgirl 随便我吗? (I’m assuming that before I took note of the situation, whatever it was about, the salesgirl had said 随便你.) The irate guy’s girlfriend stood stoic at his side, as did a male Best Buy employee (he was looking on, not intervening or saying anything). The fury man turned around, and upon seeing me, said “damn”, followed by – for good measure of course – “bitch”. The salesgirl disappeared into the back room; 90 seconds later the fury man kicked the counter hard (in his flimsy sandals, ha ha), yelling 人呢 . To my interest, but not surprise, no other Best Buy employee intervened to quell the situation. The salesgirl reemerged with my transformer, and out the door I went.

SHTig’s takeaways — Shanghai is a real pressure cooker, everyone is angry here. And thus, I don’t accept any argument from Chinese friends that the way to handle tough situations is through gentle and retreating words. Chinese people in this city can get harsh in a hurry.

Swine Flu Swindle

Someone please tell me why news of H1N1 swine flu has been leading the Chinese news for months, and continues to do so.  My working theory is that the government wants to make sure that each and every 100 laobaixing know that swine flu came from another country, so that when the pandemic breaks out badly in China, the government will not be blamed for any cover ups. 

I felt clever for figuring that out in like April.  Now I’m just exhausted from the hysteria in China over swine flu in America and telling people that swine flu has not been a serious news story there for months.  I’ve have a colleague who was on a flight from the US to Shanghai that was QUARANTINED in Shanghai for one week in June, because – apparently – someone on his plane came down with swine flu like symptoms.  I myself just returned to Shanghai from the US yesterday ~ the entry procedures were totally reasonable.  But my ayi won’t come this week because her main employer forbids her from doing so — they fear that she could catch swine flu from me and pass it on to them.  I can live without my ayi for a week (Nator, hold your snarky comments) but why oh why must Chinese people be led so out of touch of reality by state media.

Get free McDonald’s coffee by June 16th (2009)

2009june-mcdFree coffee every morning from 8 to 8:30am in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and a few other cities.  McDonald’s is smartly taking on Starbucks, by offering a full line of coffee varieties at 50% of Starsux prices. 

Apparently the free coffee is not boosting McDonald’s breakfast menu sales, but that’s probably OK by maidanglao.  Getting the word out is worthwhile.  They’ve been supporting the free coffee campaign with TV ads that note the new coffee product line.

I live in downtown Shanghai, and it’s a common to see pedestrians tenderly gripping a cup of Starbucks, green queen logo facing outwards.  You never see someone nursing a McD coffee like this.  Will be interesting to see if McD’s can break thru the shallow snob barrier.